Climate change has taken a toll on some of the world’s most beloved wonders and soon these treasures may be lost forever. Make sure to check out these 10 beautiful destinations before they are gone.
1. Athabasca Glacier, Alberta, Canada
The Athabasca Glacier is the most-visited glacier in North America and spans across 2.3 square miles. Due to rising sea temperatures, the glacier has been melting for the past 125 years, with the southern edge losing nearly a mile of its mass during this time period. Scientists now believe the Athabasca Glacier is melting at its fastest rate yet, with between 6.6 and 9.8 feet of ice disappearing each year, meaning you should visit it as soon as possible.
– When visiting the glacier, make sure to take a guided ice walk to get a feel for its sheer vastness.
– Tours only operate between April and October.
– Fill up your water bottle while on the glacier for some of the freshest water you’ve ever tasted!
– Edmonton and Calgary are the closest major international airports. From there, you’ll need to take a bus or a rental car.
One of the hardest hit places in the world by climate change, Alaska has been seeing the negative effects in almost all of its landscapes and ecosystems – from melting glaciers to dying out animal populations, things aren’t looking good out on The Last Frontier. If you want to experience the pristine beauty of Alaska, make sure to visit soon, before it’s too late.
– Most tours in Alaska operate from mid-May to mid-September, so keep this in mind when planning your trip.
– The best time to visit for seeing the Northern Lights is the oppostite of this: from September to April.
– Try not to fixate on “highlights” or “points of interest” when visiting Alaska. The state has an endless amount of breathtaking landscapes and wildlife and if you’re only looking for the most famous, you’re likely to miss out on a lot.
3. Magdalen Islands, Quebec, Canada
The Madgalen Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence offer spectacular sandy beaches and scenic views of sandstone cliffs and the open sea and make for a perfectly relaxing getaway, but extreme heavy winds and the effects of climate change are a real threat to islands’ existence, with their coasts eroding up to 40 inches each year. There is a wall of sea ice that is currently protecting the shores from the brunt of the harsh weather conditions, but it is estimated that this could be completely melted within the next 75 years and that would mean bad news for the Canadian islands and their visitors.
– Most of the residents here speak French as a first language and they have a very unique way of speaking.
– Music is a large part of the culture here – make sure to take in a show or two!
– Rent a bike for an off-the-beaten path view of the islands.
– Guided tours are also a great way to see some points of interest and there any many available.
4. The Alps
The Alps in Europe are one of the most popular destinations in the world for skiing in the winter and mountain climbing and hiking in the summer. Part of what makes this mountain range so iconic are its sheets of glacial ice, which it’s currently losing at a rate of 3% per year and scientists believe they could be completely gone by 2050.
– For skiing in the winter, visit the French, Austrian or Swiss Alps.
– The German Alps in Bavaria are great for hiking and you’ll find many beautiful lakes and castles to visit.
– The largest glaciers of the Alps are located in Switzerland.
– Major international airports servicing popular locations in the Alps are Geneva and Zurich in Switzerland and Munich in Germany.
– The Jungefraujoch in Switzerland is the highest railway in Europe and provides a view of the largest glacier in the Alps.
The Seychelles islands have already seen a massive die-off of coral and are experiencing some of the most threatening beach erosion on the planet. It’s estimated that the entire archipelago could be underwater in the next 50-100 years. A true paradise and home to some of the most luxurious resorts in the world and over 90,000 citizens, the loss would be truly devastating.
– Keep in mind that this is not a budget destination. This place caters to celebrities and honeymooners – it’s a true paradise. Expect to dip into the wallet a bit more for a trip here. Try to book your trip as a package to avoid extra costs.
– A bicycle is the best method of transportation.
– There is a great nature reserve to check out on Cousin Island.
– Relax on the beach – they are not crowded and are arguably some of the best, if not the best, in the world.
6. Venice, Italy
On the construction of Venice, the well-known Russian writer and thinker Alexander Herzen said, “To build a city where it is impossible to build a city is madness in itself, but to build there one of the most elegant and grandest of cities is the madness of genius.” Venice truly is a magical place – one the most beautiful and breathtaking cities in the world, but the canals responsible for the Italian port’s romantic charm threaten her entire existence. The city has been sinking for a long time and increasingly bad floods mean that Venice could be uninhabitable by the end of the century.
– It’s best to use a boat or your own to feet to get around Venice.
– Beware of pickpockets!
– The prices on the main island are very high – try to enjoy the majority of your meals outside of this area.
– Lido is a great island outside of Venice to explore.
– Burano is another great daytrip away from Venice. The buildings are bright and colorful and the atmosphere is very relaxed. A round-trip boat ticket will cost around 20 Euros.
7. The Maldives
The Maldives is one of the most beautiful countries on Earth….and also the lowest-lying, sitting at just an average of five feet above sea level. With the melting of artic ice and rising seas, this entire nation could be swallowed up by the waters surrounding it within the next 100 years. This threat is so high that the government of the Maldives has already purchased land in other countries for its citizens who become displaced in the future. Make sure to book your trip here quick!
– This is definitely not a budget destination, but the splurge is well worth it!
– Go diving or snorkeling. The water is crystal clear and the reefs and wildlife residing here are absolutely spectacular.
– Ferries are the best means of transportation.
– The islands are also a great surf spot, so get out there and hit the waves!
8. Glacier National Park, Montana
Montana’s very popular and beautiful Glacier National Park was once home to over 150 glaciers, but today only 25 remain. The extremely rapid rate of climate change could see this number decrease to zero by 2030 – only 15 years from now. This would not only leave the park void of the natural wonder responsible for its namesake; it would also severely disrupt its ecosystem.
– Much of the park is closed during the winter. Keep this in mind when planning your visit.
– You’ll need a car to get around, so if you’re arriving to the area by plane, make sure to rent one.
9. The Dead Sea
In the last 40 years, the Dead Sea has lost about a third of its area and sunk around 80 feet. The countries neighboring it are continuously drawing water from the River Jordan, its only source of water, and it’s thought that the historic lake could completely disappear in less than 50 years.
– Some of the locations bordering the Dead Sea are currently experiencing an increase in violence and terrorism. Be aware of current threats before you go.
– Don’t shave at least two days before going into the Dead Sea and be prepared if you have any cuts – you’ll learn the literal pain of pouring salt into one’s wound.
– Wear an old bathing suit as the water often discolors whatever you’re wearing.
– Make sure to wear a pair of water shoes – the salt lining the bottom is very sharp and can cut your feet up if they aren’t protected.
10. Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Covering more than 133,000 square miles, the enormous Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia is the largest coral reef in the world and has long been one of the most popular tourist attractions Down Under. Unfortunately, increasing environmental challenges and pollution are taking their toll on the natural wonder and it could potentially be completely destroyed within the next 100 years.
– Take a diving or snorkeling tour. This is the best way to see the reef.
– Cairns is the main launching pad for tours of the reef and this is a great place to base yourself for the trip.
– The best time to visit is between June and November.
– Wear a wetsuit rather than cover yourself in sunscreen. The reef is fragile and all pollutants can be damaging.
Have you visited any of these wonders? Did you notice the effects of climate change? Let us know about your experience in the comments below!